Homemade Sesame Tahini

Gluten-Free Tahini

Jars of tahini used to last a long time in my house.

I’d use a daub here, a spoonful there, but overall it was a condiment that was plucked out of the fridge sparingly.

This is no longer the case. I use heaps of tahini in smoothies, dressings and sauces. I slather it on toast with coconut oil, honey and hemp seeds. I gobble it – gasp – straight up with a spoon.

I’ve always bought tahini at the grocery store, until a friend posted a picture on Facebook of homemade tahini and I had one of those lightbulb/forehead-smacking moments and felt quite silly about never making it myself. I promptly ordered a two-kilogram bag of raw, organic sesame seeds and like all the other nut butters I’ve made, the homemade version tastes even better than the stuff in stores.

Other recipes for tahini tend to include olive oil, which I’ve omitted. Roasting the sesame seeds brings out their natural oils, making it far easier to blend them into smooth and silky deliciousness. If you’d prefer your tahini raw and the seeds are too dry, then you may need a tablespoon or so to get things moving.

Homemade Sesame Tahini
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, egg-free, nut-free, five ingredients or less
  • 3½ cups raw organic sesame seeds
  • pinch of salt (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spread the seeds onto a baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes. Set a timer, or watch those suckers, because we don't want them to burn.
  3. When the seeds have cooled, pour them into a food processor. Blend away, scraping down the sides as needed, until the tahini is smooth and creamy. Add the salt, if using.
  4. Store in the fridge. Makes about 2 cups.


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6 Responses to Homemade Sesame Tahini

  1. Serena July 21, 2014 at 7:40 am #

    The recipe calls for raw organic *sunflower* seeds. Do we use those in place of traditional sesame seeds or was that a typo? I would love to try to make this myself.

    • Sondi July 21, 2014 at 9:34 am #

      It was a typo, which I’ve now fixed. I hope you give this one a try!

  2. gina July 21, 2014 at 7:59 am #

    a friendly fyi that you need to correct the mention of sunflower seeds to sesame in your recipe :)

    looks great, btw!

    • Sondi July 21, 2014 at 9:34 am #

      Oh geez, thanks for catching that! It’s been fixed.

  3. Shalini September 6, 2015 at 1:48 am #

    The recipe calls for the oven. I am not too keen on using my microwave. Would it be ok if I just roasted the sesame seeds on a pan? If that’s ok how long should I roast? Thanks in advance.

    • Sondi September 6, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

      Yes, you could certainly roast the seeds in a pan – you’ll probably need to do it in batches. Toast the seeds over medium heat until lightly browned, probably 5 or so minutes.